Weekly Recap

The Best of This Week

The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.

The Missing Ingredient for Meaningful Customer Experiences

Over the years, in his courses at Harvard Business School, Stefan Thomke has heard hundreds of stories from students and executives about their most memorable experiences with top brands and companies. The common thread among them? Powerful emotional connections. Research has shown that memorable experiences can drive customer decisions as much as price and functionality. In this article, Thomke looks at the emotional magic that makes customer experiences stick.

Can AI Help Society as Much as It Helps Business?

It’s a question on the minds of many. According to McKinsey, the short answer is yes, “but only if leaders start embracing technological social responsibility (TSR) as a new business imperative for the AI era.” For successful AI adoption, many stakeholders, businesses and the public sector included, will need to work closely together.

Three Lessons From Germany’s Platform Economy

You don’t have to look far to see how fast-rising platforms like Alibaba, Airbnb, and Uber have disrupted and dominated across industries. But it can be harmful to assume the same rules of a B2C giant will apply to your B2B platform approach. Svenja Falk and Frank Riemensperger of Accenture look at three imperatives for B2B platform companies, using examples from a leading market: Germany.

What Was True of Soviet Planners Is True of Big Tech Today

As much as we may hope frontier technologies like AI and the internet of things will be panaceas for the world of work and wider society, we know that’s not the case. MIT economist Daron Acemoglu examines the power imbalance that comes from believing AI and technology “can do everything better,” and he traces the historically dangerous path of taking a “high modernist” approach to improving society through technology.

How Cities and Organizations Need to Prepare for Coming AI Changes

A key driver of AI’s role in the global economy will be how cities deal with technological developments. Timocin Pervane and Kaijia Gu, researchers and partners at Oliver Wyman, provide insights around which global cities are leading the way with AI-driven processes and also look at what cities and organizations need to do to prepare for AI-related skills gaps.

Who Should Lead Your Digital Transformation Effort?

According to recent research published in Harvard Business Review, the digital guru in your candidate pool might not be the right fit.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Data?

That’s the question this week on the minds of Ben Shields and Paul Michelman, the hosts of the MIT SMR podcast Counterpoints. In this latest episode, they debate the issue of information overload in sports analytics before turning their attention to a different, but related, issue: biometrics. In an age where fitness wearables and other data-tracking technology are becoming ever-present, do biometrics and data tracking present a valuable advantage to professional athletes and teams?

Quote of the Week

“Take it seriously. Of course. That’s required. But you don’t have to take it personally. In fact, if you want to be a professional, it’s impossible to do both at the same time.”

Seth Godin

We hope you enjoy these insights as much as we did. We’ll see you next week.